Checks are illegal

March 14, 2003

Well, they aren't yet, but dammit, I'm all for it. It absolutely flips me out when I'm standing in line behind some ass-clown at the grocery store who still insists on writing checks. I just don't get it. There is NO benefit to using a check. NONE. For a long while I tried to convince myself that perhaps these people were simply ignorant of the availability of check cards, but now, after so many years, I'm only convinced that they are either 1.) scared to move to something new or 2.) enjoy the fact that we have to wait behind them in line. Now, at the risk of sounding optimistic, I would think that the former reason would be the best bet. Given this, what is there to be scared of? Nothing. I know you check-weilding paper-lovers out there enjoy having to show your ID, write down your address, and fork over your phone number on top of already having to fill out the check itself, but come on, wouldn't it be easier to simply slide the little plastic card and enter a few numbers? Those without plastic might not see the need to switch to something new, but I dare say these people will finally get the hint when all items are eventually tagged with RFIDs and "buying" amounts to nothing more than walking out of the store with what you want (everything else will be automatic).

Granted, checks HAVE to be used for some things, but that doesn't make them any less annoying or pointless. For example, my apartment complex won't let me pay any other way (yes, they know it's 2003, I asked them). I realize that it's fun to make someone sit around for three days each month waiting for 2000 college kids to bring in their rent checks, but wouldn't it behoove all parties involved to allow for internet payments such that after the three day pay window has passed it alerts the management to those tenants who haven't paid?

The idea that one's quality-of-life isn't necessarily vastly improved by not using checks isn't lost on me, but that doesn't take away from the fact that checks are not needed in today's society and should therefore be made obsolete. We might begin by ostracizing and shunning those who still use checks. The next time you are waiting in line behind someone using a check, make sure they understand how much extra effort they're exerting by filling that thing out. Try something like, "Miss, excuse me.. ya.. Do you have a second?", and then proceed to show and tell her exactly why her way of paying for things is ridiculous. Be sure to make the point that it's only going to get worse and the she is only going to fall further behind the times unless she burns that checkbook and seeks out other payment methods. While this is obviously somewhat satirical, I genuinely hate having to write checks and wish others did too.

The future (in my case, the present) is paperless — get used to it.

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